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I was thinking about the holidays this morning and the traditions we all celebrate with family and friends; so much of it centered around food for me. My well-intentioned diet probably fell by the wayside with just that one bite of Halloween candy. I’d be in free-for-all eating until Thanksgiving. Then I could start my diet, just so I’d be down a few pounds and ready for those family favorites for Christmas.

stuffedHow did my life get so wrapped around food? I watch my family members, who’d eat like me on Thanksgiving, but the next day they’d not be bothered, still so stuffed-feeling from that one day where they indulged. Not me. I was planning on what to do with the leftovers on Friday before I’d even put my butt into a chair on Thursday.

I’m so grateful that life isn’t so focused on food anymore. My Los Angeles kids are renting a house in Palm Springs and we’ll celebrate turkey-day with them and my daughter-in-love’s parents, who’ll fly in from Florida.

Now, Jana’s dad is a gourmet chef for a high-end Disney resort restaurant, so you know that there’ll be every imaginable caloric-dense treat and maybe even some I’ve not imagined. How in the world can I possibly join in on all that and stick to my own eating boundaries?

Simple – volunteer to bring the veggies! That way, I know there will be options for me that aren’t loaded with sugar, fat and flour.

Best of all, I can be available to my family. I won’t be so focused on all that food, because I’ll have the options that work for me. I’m not someone who can take a day off, eat with impunity and expect to climb back on the wagon on Friday. I also don’t need to try and explain it to people who don’t share my challenges with food.

Eating with integrity is important to me. My meals are in harmony with weight-loss and maintenance. Believe it or not, that’s part of my spiritual disciplines. I do not think that God intended for me to be morbidly obese. Recognizing this fact about myself allows me to have a better relationship with God and the people in my life, and to know that I cannot afford a ‘day off’ from my disciplines.

It’s spiritual for me to keep my focus on family, friends and God, rather than food. So that’s why I won’t be taking a day off on Thanksgiving. I won’t be stuffed with too much stuffing, plump from pumpkin pie or crazy from candied yams.

I’ve started this day out like every other, with some quiet time, where I can connect with God, plan my day a bit and then enjoy life, without food being the main focus today. How are you starting yours?

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